Abstract

Alice Fulton is a poet and a theoretician who, for over 25 years, has tried to make much of, and even to occupy, this new fuzzy space. As many of her notebook entries (collected in The Poet’s Notebook: Excerpts from the Notebooks of Contemporary American Poets. Ed. Stephen Kuusisto, et al. NY: W.W. Norton, 1995) attest to, Fulton refers to and privileges the gap, the between. One entry mulls over the possibilities opened up by fuzzy logic, stating, “Conventional logic is based on the idea that a statement…is either true or false. Fuzzy logic deals with the degree of truth, expressed ‘as an assigned value between zero and one.’ The choice is no longer zero or one. Non-duality is a continuum rather than an either/or.” Other entries extend this interest by noting a preference for “thirdness rather than binary thought” and clarify, quoting Marjorie Garber’s Vested Interests, “‘third’—describes ‘a space of possibility…challenges the possibility of harmonic and stable binary symmetry.’ Third questions the idea of one: of identity, self-sufficiency, self-knowledge.” Fulton confirms her beliefs and makes them even a bit fuzzier in a later interview with Christanne Miller (in Contemporary Literature 38.4 (Winter 1997)): “One of the things I like about the notion of betweenness or third space—actually, it doesn’t have to be third; it can be fourth, or fifth, or thousandth—is that it stands outside of polarity and dualism.” Originally published in Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing and used with permission.

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

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